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Demutualisation: Shareholders task NSE on transparency, inclusive participation



Shares maintain free fall, indices down by 0.49%

Some capital market shareholders have tasked the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to ensure transparency and inclusive participation in its demutualisation process.

They disclosed this in an interview with our reporter on Friday in Lagos against the backdrop of NSE’s transition to a demutualised exchange.

Demutualisation of a stock exchange is a process by which a non-profit, member/brokers owned mutual exchange is converted into a profit seeking shareholder corporation, open to members of the public.

Demutualising an exchange therefore transforms it from being owned by members or brokers, to one with a different governance structure where members of the public can buy shares.

Recall that the demutualisation process is currently at its final stage as it had received a ‘no objection’ letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Mr Boniface Okezie, the National Cordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, said that minority shareholders should be carried along in the exercise.

Okezie lamented that the minority shareholders, the drivers of the market, were not involved in the exercise as expected.

He wondered why minority shareholders were not considered in shares allotment.

“Those operating in the exchange have been neglected and put in the background. Not one per cent was given to minority shareholders and they are the drivers of the exchange, it is sad,” Okezie said.

Also speaking, Mr Moses Igbure, President, Issuers and Investors Alternative Dispute Resolution,
said that demutualisation would promote accountability in the management of the exchange.

Igbure said that demutualisation when completed would afford investors the opportunity to be part owners of the exchange.

“Demuatulisation of NSE will make investors to be part of the ownership and also enjoy the benefits associated in the market.

“It will also promote transparency and accountability in the management of the exchange. The listings of shares will also increase the overall capitalisation of the Exchange.

“The essence of this is to manage and run the exchange in line with international best practice,” he said.

Recall that Mr Oscar Onyema, NSE Chief Executive Officer, said recently that it was awaiting the Securities and Exchange Commission approvals to finalise the exercise.

Onyema said that the demutualisation when finalised would make the exchange competitive in line with global standards.

He said that the new entity would be listed by introduction to afford Nigerians the opportunity of being part owners.

Onyema explained that the NSE intend to use market norms and legal means to make sure the shares are available for investors when listed.

Itohan Abara-laserian

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